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Schoolgirls can’t take days off for periods as 'inconvenience is part of being a woman’, says headteacher
Girls shouldn’t take days off school during their periods because “inconvenience is all part of being a woman’, a headteacher has told sixth-form pupils. In a bid to reduce absenteeism, Year 12 students at Oxford Spires Academy were sent an email saying their periods were not an excuse for missing lessons, and advised that painkillers and heat packs were available from the school matron. In the email Dr Jackie Watson, vice principal and head of sixth form, wrote that girls would not be able to take sick days from work in the future on account of their period, so should not expect to take them from school. The message was also sent to Year 12 boys. Watson urged pupils not to miss out on their education. She wrote: “Any female student asking to be sent home ‘ill’ or phoning in ‘ill’ who has a period will not find this is a suitable excuse. Learning to deal with monthly inconvenience is all part of being a woman, I’m afraid.” The email has caused widespread anger among pupils at the school. One student said: “Obviously I have to understand that people cannot take their whole period off each month but that is not what anyone is trying to do. “Personally, when I am on my period, I experience really painful cramps, meaning I cannot walk without having to be bent double. Sometimes, I get so dizzy I pass out or vomit – obviously on these days, I would not consider myself fit to go into school.
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